• About Farm School

    "There are obviously two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live."
    James Adams, from his essay "To 'Be' or to 'Do': A Note on American Education", 1929

    We're a Canadian family of five, farming, home schooling, and building our own house. I'm nowhere near as regular a blogger as I used to be.

    The kids are 18/Grade 12, 16/Grade 11, and 14/Grade 10.

    Contact me at becky(dot)farmschool(at)gmail(dot)com

  • Notable Quotables

    "If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
    William Morris, from his lecture "The Beauty of Life"

    "‘Never look at an ugly thing twice. It is fatally easy to get accustomed to corrupting influences."
    English architect CFA Voysey (1857-1941)

    "The world of books is the most remarkable creation of man. Nothing else that he builds ever lasts. Monuments fall, nations perish, civilizations grow old and die out; and, after an era of darkness, new races build others. But in the world of books are volumes that have seen this happen again and again, and yet live on, still young, still as fresh as the day they were written, still telling men’s hearts of the hearts of men centuries dead."
    Clarence Day

    "Anyone who has a library and a garden wants for nothing."

    "Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtile; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend."
    Sir Francis Bacon, "Essays"

    "The chief aim of education is to show you, after you make a livelihood, how to enjoy living; and you can live longest and best and most rewardingly by attaining and preserving the happiness of learning."
    Gilbert Highet, "The Immortal Profession: The Joys of Teaching and Learning"

    "Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment."
    Walter Wriston

    "I'd like to give you a piece of my mind."
    "Oh, I couldn't take the last piece."
    Ginger Rogers to Frances Mercer in "Vivacious Lady" (1938)

    "No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem."
    Booker T. Washington

    "Please accept my resignation. I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member."
    Attributed to Groucho Marx in "The Groucho Letters" by Arthur Sheekman

    "If you can't say something good about someone, sit right here by me."
    Alice Roosevelt Longworth

    "If we bring a little joy into your humdrum lives, we feel all our hard work ain't been in vain for nothin'."
    Jean Hagen as "Lina Lamont" in "Singin' in the Rain" (1952)
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  • Copyright © 2005-2016 Please do not use any of my words or my personal photographs without my express permission.

What we did on our first day of summer vacation

from formal homeschooling. Yesterday was a gorgeous June day, complete with deep blue sky and big, fluffy clouds, so we

— picnicked by the dugout [Western Canadian term for a manmade pond) to watch the mallard pair, the coot family with its redheaded babies, a Sora rail, and assorted sandpipers

— (this is an “I” and not a “we” item) backed the truck up over the (only belatedly realized too muddy) ditch to help our aging, arthritic dog hop in, only to get the truck stuck in the mud, good and “we need the tractor and a tow rope” stuck

— walked home through the pasture, finding the first yarrow, and one leftover buffalo bean from last month

— made a survey of all the wild roses that have just started blooming; the wild rose is the provincial flower, and while most are a rosy pink, some are white and some are a very dark pink, almost fuschia, with bright yellow centers

— startled a deer out of her daytime nest, which startled all of us. The kids were surprised to see how big her patch of matted grass was.

— were delighted to see the cavalry (aka Tom) riding to the rescue, on his way home briefly to pick up more tools for work; My truck was quickly pulled from the brink, and the boys rode off with Tom, while Laura galloped about bareback while I fed the chickens and the bull, and pulled some rhubarb stalks for another crisp.

Our timing yesterday was perfect. This morning I awoke to rain, goldfinches in the spruce tree, and a daughter with an eye infection and a general malaise, so it’s time for a quiet day at home, with some new library books: Birds: Nature’s Magnificent Flying Machines by Caroline Arnold, very carefully illustrated by Patricia J. Wynne; Year of the Barn Owl inspired by the lyrical but realistic illustrations of Terry Riley and written by John Andrews (this is a beautiful book, English and out of print but worth tracking down at the library, though not worth the nearly $80 asked by a nutty Amazon used bookseller); the new An Egg Is Quiet by Dianna Aston and illustrated magically by Sylvia Long.

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